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Artificial intelligence (AI) in Freight Detection Systems on Railways


Location: China

Background Information

Vehicle safety monitoring systems automatically identify faulty moving parts and are essential for the safe operation of trucks, vehicles, and trains. Faced with mounting problems stemming from overloaded passenger trains and freight traffic, a Chinese state railway operator decided to take urgent action: A system was needed that could perform real-time advanced data analysis and diagnostics to detect over-stressed parts on trains while they were moving. The vehicle safety monitoring system  included the following: Train Hotbox Detection System  (THDS), Trackside Acoustic Detector System (TADS®), Train Braking Performance Detection System  (TBDS), Train Performance Detection System  (TPDS), and a Moving Train Detection System  (MTDS).

System Requirements

An MTDS is a high-speed intelligent image analysis system for moving trains that identifies and evaluates the condition of critical moving parts at high speed. The system helps determine whether parts are likely to fail so that action can be taken before they do. An MTDS helps identify fractures and loss of vehicle bogies, brakes, coupling buffers, and other critical components on moving trains. An MTDS includes multiple high-speed CCD digital cameras that simultaneously capture and transfer images, perform digital image processing, and identify locations of stressed parts. The systems are installed under trains and at rail sides for dynamic image capture and analysis. Processed data is used for effective intelligent early warning to prevent accidents and assure the safe and efficient operation of high-speed passenger and freight trains.

System Description

The MTDS implemented by the Chinese state railway operator consisted of an Advantech SKY-6100 server with an NVIDIA® Tesla® P4 GPU and a firmware RAID card. The image processing capability of the GPU server is defined by the video channel that can be processed by this server . (The number of GPU cards can be increased as data requirements increase, enabling flexibility and allowing a customer to use fewer or more GPU cards depending on workload.) A firmware RAID card was added and the dual-front accessible 2.5" hard drive bay allowed the operator to build a RAID 0/1 configuration for better throughput and security for the drive bay. An internal M.2 2242 SATA interface device was reserved for OS installation.

Key Features

  • Industrial-level system design.
  • Supports up to five NVIDIA Tesla P4 GPUs in a 1U rack-mount server.
  • Smart fan controls on the GPU monitor temperature ensure thermal integrity.

Why Advantech

Advantech provides comprehensive server systems for AI. The NVIDIA Tesla P4 is a half-height, half-length GPU card used in AI inference applications. This server provides the maximum number of PCI-Express cards in a 1U height rackmount chassis, making it the ideal server for AI inference applications. SKY-6100 passed NVIDIA’s certified Tesla P4 qualification, which ensures the power, thermal, bandwidth, and signal quality provided from this server are optimized for the best performance.

Advantech also partner with Micron to make sure our system meets long lifecycle and revision management guidelines.

The Advantech SKY-6100 server utilizes Micron’s 16GB DDR4 UDIMM module. Advantech works with Micron Technology as an Industrial Quotient (IQ) partner because IQ goals include design for reliability, extensive QA testing, extended longevity, application-specific optimization, and ruggedization.

Industrial Quotient (IQ) Partner - Micron

Micron is an industry leader in innovative memory and storage solutions transforming how the world uses information to enrich life for all. With a relentless focus on our customers, technology leadership, and manufacturing and operational excellence, Micron delivers a rich portfolio of high-performance DRAM, NAND and NOR memory and storage products through our Micron® and Crucial® brands. Every day, the innovations that our people create fuel the data economy, enabling advances in artificial intelligence and 5G applications that unleash opportunities — from the data center to the intelligent edge and across the client and mobile user experience. To learn more about Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU), visit

For more information on Micron’s Industrial Quotient, please visit: